tv Washington Journal Representative Jodey Arrington R-TX CSPAN March 21, 2017 1:17pm-1:47pm EDT
>>. >> day two of the confirmation hearing for supreme court nominee neil gore such is underway. live coverage of the hearing on c-span three. also want to watch online at c-span.org or listen on the c-span radio and on thursday, the house will vote on the healthcare plan to replace the affordable care act. watch live coverage and vote on c-span starting at 9 am eastern. on washington journal we talked to members of congress about the budget. >> our first guest of the morning is representative jody arrington, republic of texas users in the 19th district and is a member of the budget committee as well as the agriculture and veterans affairs committees, good morning. >> this morning healthcare will be particularly on the agenda for the republicans when an expected vote
thursday, where you stand on the republican bill that's out. >> i think it's a big step in the right direction. >> is not perfect and i think as republicans , my message is you can't let perfect be the enemy of good here. it's defining, it's declawing obamacare strikes to the heart of obamacare with respect to doing away withthe mandate . repealing the taxes, gutting the regulations that again is at the heart of government controlled healthcare as i described and then begins the process of reforming with republican reforms that are based in market. creating a situation where you have insurance competing for us as patients or consumers which i think if you have that dynamic in a robust way, you will have prices go down and you will have better services. and you will empower patients who got tax credits in there,
you got expansion of health savings accounts, and then you got ways to reform medicaid and give states more flexibility so i think the big step in the right direction, i think there are a couple things even in the budget committee that we advocated for interms of promotions that will carry over as amendments . there's work requirements and other things so i'm pleased with the direction is going. >> when you say medicaid, even we saw yesterday some additions by the house leadership when it came to what was proposed allowing state to allow recipients to work for the medicaid block grant.you think that's going to sway republicans who might be on the fence? >> i do because i think a lot of us, most of us feel that it's important to have a basic requirement for able-bodied adults who don't work, whether it's tax credits or some other assistance as part of the medicaid program. i think that's a big one, certainly at the top of my
list and in the block bar grant, the current block grant life provision, it's a per capita but i do think that that does not slow the growth and expand medicaid like a traditional block grant where you just give the money , index it and it keeps it valued but it doesn't expand at the rate of a per capita so that's an option in their. i would like to see a block grant traditional block grant because that does slow down the growth significantly but it also gives maximum flexibility to space. having those options in there, we are putting enough people over ultimately to get this thing out of the house >> you mentionedork
provisions twice. what specific thing would you like to see as far as the work requirement and how does that square? >> even as far back as the welfare work reforms with resident bill clinton, i read an op-ed he wrote in the new york times i think in 1996 and he was talking about the fact that it's incumbent upon us as fiduciaries of the taxpayers, when we are putting together 60 programs on behalf of americans because i think most americans are generous, gracious people and they want to help folks who are truly in need and want to give temporary assistance so that they can bounce back but there needs to be, and he was pushing for the basic tenets of work requirements and making sure the independents were there. for people to move from welfare to work and i don't think this should be in a exception. there's not a work requirement in medicaid and there's not a work requirements in these tax credits that we've proposed or that have been proposed in
the recent american healthcare so i think again, that's just the basic standard that ought to be in any welfare program or any government assistance program and i think most americans agree with that. >> our guest can be taking questions, 24 874-8000, one for republicans. president trump reportedly is going to be on capitol hill today, are you meeting with him and what do you hope to hear from them? >> it will be my next meeting after you will be going to republican conference meetings where i think he's going to make a last ditch push for the passage of the health care reform. and i think he's made a significant contribution already sitting down with folks from the conference who have had concerns like we expressed whether it's work requirements or more
flexibility with the states. i think he's played an important role. and people want to know that he's going to be supportive of this. because you know, there are always uncertainties in this process and any time you are taking something that's been out there for several years and fundamentally altering it, even with the cbo says premiums will go up before they go down but ultimately they're going to go down, at least that's a prediction and i believe that, you've got to have faith in the markets and in these reforms but you need a president that's all in and i think when he expresses that strong sense personally to the conference, i think it's going to make a difference and i think it's important as a republican leader that he does that. >> you think the events from yesterday concerning the fbi and the testimony or at least impede efforts by republicans on an agenda andthe president
on his agenda? >> is a minor distraction i would say . i think we've been very focused on this as a centerpiece of the republican reforms. for this session. and we are i think we are very focused on getting it passed so no, i think it's a minor distraction but today, i think the conversations going to be about finishing what we started, keeping our promises because most of us who campaigned last year, i think obamacare and the repeal and replacement was at the top of the list. >> the first call from comes from new jersey, independent line, frank go ahead. >> yes congressman, i wanted to elaborate. i don't think we're being honest with ourselves about the budget. last time i looked, we're at $4 trillion.for spending every year. and you know, we are importing $1.2 trillion and i
don't know if the deficit and our annual budget, i don't know it if washington knows the seriousness of the position that we are in. i don't know if people in washington have enough bravery and concern for our country and to cut or not bold, they're not deep enough and these are concerns of real american people, 100,000 people that donald trump last night and they are concerned. their concern about this budget. >> thank you for your comments, i couldn't agree more with you. i'm so delighted that you, that this was the first call we took and that's exactly my sentiment and i think the sentiment of many americans and unfortunately i don't think we're talking enough about it. we are talking about reforming the regulatory
state that we've created that i think is crushing our economy, especially small businesses, especially rural america where we have a disproportionate number of small businesses. i'm talking about health care reform and future tax reform, all very important. all part of our economy going and americans back to work but the elephant in the room is the fact that we are on an unsustainable fiscal path with $20 trillion, index and a 10 year projection of 30 trillion, we talked about healthcare reform, medicaid. if we the obama policies in place, obamaca policy in place, we uld be paying in 10 years $1 trillion a year medicaid. it's unsustainable and i think the biggest threat to the future of our country, to my kids and some of the viewers kids and grandkids , we've got to reform our fiscal affairs, we've got to live within our means.
and i'm very concerned about the situation. i do like the fact and think it needs to be highlighted that the american healthcare act or the obamacare repeal and replace will reduce visit spending by over $300 billion but with the president's budget proposals submitted outline but focused on discretionary and while i do think there are plenty of cops and inefficiency and waste on the discretionary side, the lion's share of spending and the drivers of our debt are on the mandatory side and you didn't see any proposal on the mandatory side so i appreciate your comments. i agree with you and is a member of the budget committee, i'm very hopeful we're going to make this a centerpiece of our discussions, our budget going forward.
>>. >> host: republican line, back from minneapolis. >> i just had a comment, a lot of the things going around washington, you're not really going and lowering the cost and accessibility, one thing that could be done that would cost the government a dime is a lot more foreign graduated doctors who work here in the united states, right now there's a limit on the cost of residency/ spending, even if they are here, they cannot practice because they are locked out by the ama limiting to the medical spots for just united states medical graduates. so that could be something, that would increase coverage. it would lower costs and yes, it would be a good thing.
won't cost you a dime, i wish you could look into that. >> guest: thank you zach, i do think obviously there's a shortage of physicians and that's something that we have to consider when we are looking at healthcare and access to healthcare. one thing i think we need to look at is innovation in healthcare and making sure that government isn't stifling innovation. for the previous two years before i was elected, i worked at a healthcare innovation company and our focus was telemedicine. and i said i represented rural district 29 counties, mainly rural and we would fight in effectively our specially cared doctorate alongside primary care practitioners, could be even a nurse where there's not a doctor and some of these counties and we would bring healthcare to folks who were limited by geography and the lack of, the supply of
specialty care physicians so a lot of ways technology can both provide access and stem the cost most importantly to your point so thanks for your comment. >> our guest was the president of scott laboratories, chief of staff at texas university and served as an advisor to governor geoe w. bush in 2001, north hollywood caia democrat mike dean. >> good morning folks, thank you for your call. thank you represented errington for having the courage to procure from questions. from a broad range of political things that we had our country. i really emphasize forgot the fact that to me, as i understood it, one of the days of the affordable care act was to help the deputies because my understanding of the time, to help the cost
for one of the driving factors that was pushing the deficit. but i do havequestions , i don't have common questions day. when did we as americans, i'm talking about the electorate, begin a distinction between the activity of politicking, in other words of getting elected, and the activity of governing ? relying on our elected officials at all levels, municipal, not just elected but officials who make sure that our government isn't compromised. because and realize that compromises not an option. my second question is do americans as a whole in the political bandwidth understand how the abuse of power elected or appointed officials as a strong
influence in the integrity of the trust that we as the public having our government and on the foundation of our democracy. and. >> color, were going to leave it there. but james, let me say first of all that what our country desperately needs and what they need to see from our leadership in washington is the kind of tone that you set with your question. the fact that you call them on the democrat line, you thanked me for coming and you very respectfully and politely articulated your concerns and questions about politics versus darling. you mention other things in there but tone is allotted. relationships are allotted. it's not rocket science area this is no different than
your business relationships, family relationships. and i agree, we need to be americans first and we need to govern on behalf of all americans, i have strongly held beliefs and conservative principles as the right path forward to a stronger, more prosperous, safer, freer america but i respect the fact that i have colleagues on the other side of the aisle that is are just as passionate about their philosophical views but we don't have an endless source of money. as my dad says, money doesn't grow on trees and i haven't found the money tree here in washington since i took office as long as we don't have to raise taxes or make significant cuts, and we just keep borrowing, nobody feels any pain and that's the problem. it walls us into a sense of apathy about our fiscal
condition and we keep kicking the can down the road, i think the chicken will come home to roost unfortunately. probably when my kids are trying to start their careers and families and i'm determined not to let that work in a bipartisan way to - address what i think is the biggest crisis we face in our country and i appreciate your tone and tenor and the point you are makingabout getting back to governing . it's difficult i think, term limits are going to bea part of this . the equation of getting back to governing on for term limits and on introducing a term limit bill with the democrats, i got friend who's a freshman member on the other side of the aisle from caf, he worked in the obama administration, i worked in the bush administration but we both agree that the culture of washington has to change and were willing to do that americans
want to see . >> host: artist serves on the veterans affairs committee, i want to ask is there a tug-of-war in your mind over the release the trumpet ministration where there's a boost in veterans affairs but almost $5 billion cut, can you square those two? >> guest: the way i can swear them is we've got to do prioritizing. for too long, we're not any cuts, significantly, were not making any offsets. at least here, there's a prioritization of natural security but with real offsets in other programs. >> the devils in the details. i'm working hard on the activity with mike conway to make sure there's a strong safety net for our producers. that's critical not just for our economy but national security, we've got to have food independence, we've got to be able to clothe the american people and not be
dependent on foreign inference. but those are, that's part of the mandatory screening so that's not going to be touched. >> when i served with president bush, i was an agency for four years. we cut 20 percent of the budget, most of that was in people didn't miss a beat. i think there's tremendous load in overhead , i think there's tremendous inefficiency in programs. but we do need, my concern is not having an act secretary in place so that that person can be part of the discussion and be a champion for the programs that he thinks are more important to rural america and there are some real infrastructure grants as part of rule development that i will have helped communities, i'm from west texas but the veterans have been i think of the part that's gone without the kind of service that i think every american expects but we somehow cannot seem todeliver and that's a real problem and
. >>. >> the asset is when it comes to programs like clean water for programs, will they be affected by these cuts? >> again, there are more details for me to flesh out. i think he's given a top line number that some programmatic references, but i think every agency from to epa, certainly has room to take cuts and we can't your colors question, this is a republican and democrat color said, we have record deficits and people want to be serious about it. at some point, there are a lot of good programs out there. we've got to weigh the cost of a good program with strapping the next generation of americans with such great debt they can never come out of the whole and actually have the opportunities that we had so i put a great deal
of weight on making the painful, difficult decisions even inareas that are going to affect communities like mine , in order to get my kids and the kids and grandkids of your viewers fighting chances to have and the america that we had's. >> host: with your from roger in sarasota florida, independent line and our guest jody harrington, republican of texas. >> caller: i'm glad to have a chance to talk to you.i've i'm 76 years old and retired for quite a while. and one of the lucky ones, i have income generated largely by investments. i depend on wall street for my prosperity but wall street has treated me well, even through the last downturn in 2008 and nine and i have a suggestion for you. i think that people like me
and people who are far richer than i ought to be willing to pay for our own care through the extent that we are able. and i would suggest to you, and i like to hear what you think of this , i would like to see all medical expenses, the cost of insurance premiums, all doctors visits, all dental visits, all visits to the laboratory, all hospitalization, the cost of medication from a pharmacy, all of that should be tax deductible from our taxable income in my opinion, that would be a great help. in reducing costs to us but as a fairly prosperous person, i have an income of about $80,000 a year which is fine for a single person. i'm not rich, but i'm comfortable and i'm content with that.
but i don't see any reason why the government should pick up all of my health care costs. i'm grateful for what they do. medicare is very satisfactory but i'm not sure it's fair. >> thanks so much for your call, will let our guests respond. roger i think has a great thought and strategy that needs to be talked about, not just in healthcare. policy reforms butocial security, social security and other entitlement programs. and because they're really unsustainable.>> just talking about social security, in 2034 i believe, the program will be insolvent and we will only be able to provide. >> a fifth of the services that we've been able to provide in the past and 100 percent to the beneficiaries so we've got to do something. i think at least for my age
and below, we've got to make some changes. i understand that seniors and those who are about to retire whether it's healthcare or social security, they've worked for their retirement and we ought to draw a ring around them and let them operate under the current conditions but i'm 45 and for my and below, we've got to change the rules of the game. before going to sustain it, this is about making sure that the important safety net programs are there for our children and grandchildren. again, to me ts the goal every time is not how comfortable can we live and can we sustain our comfort level, it's how can we provide opportunity and security for our kids. and so i think your point is good about the sort of
income-based policies and in fact i think in this care business, the provisions came out of this discussion with the white house and with other republican members and the leadership that are going to make its way through the manager's amendment and rules committee and that is you know, tweaking this tax credit in a way that makes it a little more risk-based and income-based, that is those on the lower end get more credit because there's greater need and those that are transitioning through its premiums will be hired because they are older and have a greater risk but they would have to some increase in their tax credit. so i think that's sort of sliding scale is important but it's also important to recognize that employers provide, they get tax benefits as do the employees
who receive employer-based health insurance. part of this tax credit is making sure there's parity among americans that don't concede that. >> jacksonville, ricky republican line, your next. >> are you doing this morning? >> guest: i'm doinggreat , how are you doing? >> caller: my question is, the influence of the people on medicaid that has some kind of mental or physical disability, they're not going to get rich. >> that's a great question and i had the same question as i was trying to discern how we should reform our healthcare system including mecaid and the medicaid program moving forward in this bigger package that we are calling the american >> under the obamacare plan, states were allowed not just to expand from 100 percent poverty line but above the
poverty line down to 38 initially. and then beyond. some states where if you expanded medicaid to people who live up to 400 percent over the poverty line, so as there has been an extension, there have been millions of able-bodied people who are now on medicare had a federal match of 100 percent. that's why they did it. obamacare and president obama, the administration wanted to get more people on insurance so they could claim more people are covered by insurance. either way, having insurance and access to care are two different things because we know there are a lot of people who got on the exchange programs and can't afford the premiums or deductibles so they're no better off than they were before, in fact they are worse off. but what you've seen is this expansion well beyond the intent of the safety net of
medicaid and you have millions of able-bodied people on medicaid and i'm for freezing that. i'm for going back to free obamacare funding and making sure that if you are an able-bodied person, you are expected to work and your incentivized work. that's something that's a basic expectation that most americans support . >> host: >> caller: >> host: house investigators have suggested there's a vote they can pass on thursday. >> guest: hybrid stuff like we are moving in the right direction, we are confident we have the time. i can tell you from my gut and from my conversations with my colleagues in my class that we have 29 republican congressional
errors that i work with regular league, there's greater confidence that because of these two provisions that are going to be included, we are going to get, i don't know that we are going to have many if any from my class that will end up voting against it. if that's any sample and reflection of the greater population of republicans, i think we're going to be okay. >> host: jody arrington, republican of texas and is on the budget, agriculture and the veterans affairs community committee, thank you for your time. >> guest: thanks for having me. >> look at the briefing room, the briefing has not started yet, scheduled to start 15 minutes ago. president trump having met with house republican leaders on capitol hill earlier this morning. i have a boat scheduled thursday in the house on the health care repeal and replacement measure. we will try to show at least a portion of the white house briefing here on c-span2 before the senate returns from party lunches that's expected in about 30 minutes. while we wait for the white